FAYETTEVILLE, Ark./SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Santa Clara cross country backed up its highest regional ranking in program history with a strong showing Saturday at the Chile Pepper Festival. The Broncos, ranked No. 13 in the West by USTFCCCA, took second place among 12 Division I programs and fourth place of 40 teams overall in the 10-kilometer race at the University of Arkansas cross country course.
Jack Davidson secured a 10th-place finish in the Division I field with a 30:46.1. Joey Berriatua (14th – 30:55.8), Zach Litoff (19th – 31:22.4), Noah Westfall (26th – 31:41.9), Evan Misuraca (29th – 31:56.4), Ben Davidson (31st – 31:59.4) and Will Burschinger (42nd – 32:19.9) also scored for the Broncos.
No. 5 Arkansas, which has the most national championships (11) in NCAA history, won the team title convincingly. The meet host Razorbacks scored in each of the top three spots and placed five in the top nine runners to finish with 23 points.
Santa Clara had 98 points to edge out regionally ranked teams in Texas State (No. 7 South Central – 101 points) and UT-Arlington (No. 9 South Central – 108 points).
In California, the men had a second group of runners and the women had three Broncos compete in the Capital Cross Challenge at Haggin Oaks Golf Course.
Christian Raslowsky topped the men's team with an 8-kilometer 25:55.1, good for 82nd place in the field. Connor Lehl, Andrew Melendez, Brendan Jones and Jean-Baptiste Tooley also scored for the Broncos in the state capital.
Noelani Obermeyer led the women's side with a 6-kilometer time of 24:10.9. Kalen Abe and Julia Green also raced for the team, which rested most of its runners after two meets in a seven-day stretch between the Sundodger Invitational on Sept. 16 and dual meet victory over Saint Mary's on Sept. 22.
• Santa Clara's men also finished in second place at the season-opening USF Invitational.
• The men's NCAA West Region Championship Meet and NCAA National Championship Meet are both run at 10 kilometers.
"[Associate head coach Pete Cushman] and I were very happy with our performances today."
"Our men who traveled to Arkansas gained valuable experience racing over the 10-kilometer distance and in a very large field. We still have a lot of work to do as we prepare to compete against some of the best teams in the country at the WCC Championships and at the west region championships. This was a very positive step in being at our best in late October and early November. All our guys had solid efforts, but I felt like Zach Litoff and Noah Westfall had breakout days."
"It was great to get Noe Obermeyer back racing after a tough spring of injuries."
Santa Clara has a week off from competition before returning home to Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, California, for the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 14. The West Coast Conference Championships are set for Oct. 28 at the Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, California.
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